When I’m Old, will I be a regular feature on my children’s social media?
Will my children find me cute enough to let my image ride the waves of the internet, opening their arms to comments about me and them and us together?
Will I have to stop whatever I’m doing and pose for pictures because some day someone may want to see them?
If my hip or spleen or heart fails, or my sun damage turns dangerous, will they post pictures of me during diagnosis and treatment? Will these photos of me at my most human be scrolled past or receive an AMEN? Will I be a virtual trooper?
Or just Old and voiceless? (But Blessed, of course).
Will #TBT show me when I was young and get responses of “Wow!” and “Check out how hot Old was!”?
Will there be pictures of me on my birthday, in silly clothes, party hats, and Mardi Gras beads (because I need to lighten up and get over myself?) Will my own sartorial choices be applauded as adorable and marching to my own beat, or will my children be told to watch out because I might rebel in ten years when I am Ultra Old?
On regular days will my children pose me and squish up next to me and take many pictures to get the right one of us together just “hanging out”? Will that be our connection? Will I love it as much as my children or will I want to wriggle away to claim a little space?
When I’m an Old, will my children take pictures of me with male friends and caption us a new “power couple”?
“Uh oh! Look out! She’s on the prowl! She’s 4 months older than him…rowr.” Will they laugh and wink if I blush and walk away in embarrassed frustration?
Will some of my children’s friends quietly mutter and form groups called things like Oldless by Choice? Will these groups express irritation with Olds and laugh at Old Worship and at how some people try to find their identity through elder caregiving and Oh! One Old wrote a check at the grocery store and used coupons and didn’t even know how to ask for coffee at the coffee place that has a menu in bastardized Esperanto? The Olds ask questions and slow down everything and I wish people would stop asking me if I regret not having an Old. So sick of the pictures of the Olds already! I remember when my friends used to be interesting, when they talked about things other than having their own Olds.
Will my bad days, my final days, my last moments be captured and uploaded, saved on a phone, shared with the world with a sorrowful message?
If I say no, will my children still sneak a picture and caption it “Someone doesn’t want her picture taken!”?
Will my daughter and I get matching pedicures (hers trendier than mine) to the delight of her friends? Will my fellow Olds and I get caught in a wake of photo shoots and Honest Olds tweets for our children to read and nod in appreciative recognition that they are not alone? Will time spent with my own Old friends be tagged “Here Comes Trouble!”?
Will my tired requests to be left alone, given privacy, given dignity be shared and punctuated with a saucy “Someone’s cranky!” Will it cause my children to desire a glass of wine at unusual hours? Will my bathroom triumphs and small, hesitant, unassisted steps be marked as life events on a timeline?
Will my words, as they grow more laborious or wiser or garbled be transcribed and illustrated with paintings of sunsets and hearts?
Will we have a relationship if there is not a screen between us?